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Rebel 06-15-2010 02:45 PM

Some invisible files are missing
5 Attachment(s)
I've been using SD for a few year now, and have never had a problem with the app itself. One of the things I've always liked is that when a backup was finished, the source and target were exactly the same size; This was comforting, as I knew the backup contained an identical copy and no files were missing. :cool:

Recently I bought a used Macbook pro, and it needed repairs from Apple. before sending it in, I cloned the drive to an external drive using SuperDuper, and everything went fine, as usual. Up to that point I had never used any other app for creating bootable backups. After getting the computer back, I needed to reinstall Snow Leopard. Since then, I can not get ANY app to fully clone my drive - every one I've tried misses several of the invisible files at the root level. The files are all in the /private folder and the /private/var/vm folder. I've run SuperDuper!, CarbonCopyCloner, Get Backup and Tri-Backup, and my backup is always about 5GB smaller than the source. The sleepimage and swapfiles are always left out of the /private/var/vm folder. I thought there may be a problem with SD so I installed CCC, but the same thing occurs with every app I try. I thought it was permissions-related, as I've been messing with all my permissions, but even after another OS install and changing the apps' permissions, the problem persists. After posting a similar thread on the CCC site, I was informed that CCC does not back up several files that its developer feels are unnecessary. This is not made clear in the app, and I'm not going to use it anymore - I want an EXACT clone of my drive. I expect everything to be included when using SD for a Smart Backup.
I haven't found anything that says SD does not back up certain files during a "Smart Backup", and since it worked up until a couple weeks ago, I don't know what happened. I'm using the same version I was using before sending the computer in. I ran SD AT LEAST a dozen times before trying CCC, and the others. I tried erasing the drive then doing a full backup, as well as Smart Backups. CCC did copy almost everything when doing a full backup, but was still .1 GB shy of the source.

I submitted logs and data to Apple Support, but they say there's nothing wrong with the OS, and blame the 3rd-party apps (as usual). I don't see how all 3 apps could be experiencing identical problems unless there's still a permissions conflict.

I use Path Finder instead of Finder, so it's easy to view these invisible files; With Finder, I'd have no idea what was missing.

A SD log is attached, and so are screenshots showing the size difference between 2 folders on the source and destination, and the missing sleepimage and swapfile.
In the log, the items ignored by SD are in red.

As noted on the CCC website, CCC skips the following items:

Items automatically ignored

When copying files using the "Incremental backup of selected items" cloning method, CCC automatically ignores certain files and folders from the backup procedure. The contents of this list were determined based on Apple recommendations and years of experience. The following is a list of the items that are excluded. This list is not configurable (though the curious would eventually learn that these are defined in Carbon Copy

.HFS+ Private Directory Data*
/Cleanup At Startup
/Shutdown Check
Temporary Items
/VM Storage
/Desktop (Mac OS 9)

SuperDuper! 2.6.2
OS X 10.6.3

NOTE: In this thread, dnanian said

I've never heard of a case where we didn't copy a file, Terrence: we don't treat dot-hidden files any differently than any other (though the globbing-match rules for scripts are a bit different, as you might expect).

Are you certain you did "Backup - all files" and the file was there on the original?

If you could send a copy of your SuperDuper!.log (in ~/Library/Logs) to support, I'll take a look and see if I can find anything unusual in there. An ls -la of your home on the original and the backup would help, too.

Well dnanian, here's some more missing files for you to find. :D

dnanian 06-15-2010 03:32 PM

We're really clear that we don't back up those files, Rebel, in the "What's going to happen?" section of the UI and, if you want to look at them, the script you're using.

Neither the sleepimage nor the VM swap files have *any* meaning across a restart. There's no reason to copy them.

Rebel 06-15-2010 03:46 PM

Then why have my backups always been the same size as the source before? I never had any reason to question it since the sizes always matched.

Only after upgrading from Leopard to SL and getting my computer back from Apple do the sizes no longer match.

I see where SD says it skips temporary and system specific files, but I figured those must be very tiny and insignificant since they didn't affect the size of the backup enough that I noticed it. Now there's nearly a 5 GB difference. Anything specifically related to SL? I switched to it after receiving this computer, right before sending it to Apple. I've been using Leopard the last 2 years or so, and had no issues with SD.

dnanian 06-15-2010 04:00 PM

I've never had the sizes match. We've always done this, from day one.

Perhaps, previously, you didn't have the 'safe sleep'/hibernate function on, so there was no sleep image?

Rebel 06-15-2010 05:16 PM

Don't know what you mean by "safe sleep'/hibernate function", but I do have my system set to sleep after 30 minutes of non-use, always have.

dnanian 06-15-2010 07:22 PM

The 'sleep image' is used by the system so that, if your battery dies while your Mac is sleeping, it can still recover. It's a relatively recent thing, and your Mac may not have been set up to use it previously (or you were using the "Smart Sleep" preference pane)...

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